What is Next

By Carissa

It’s been more than a month since my triathlon.  What have I been up to? Rest, a chest cold, one day of the flu and lots of on again/off again exercise.  After 19 weeks of training I was ready for a mental and physical break.  So I took a break.

During this month of light exercise a buzz started among my Sole Sisters.  Both Jodi and Tanya were considering Whidbey Island Marathon.  I wanted to be in.  I love doing races with my Sole Sisters.  I wanted to train for a spring marathon.  But as much as I wanted to be a yes, I intuitively said no.

Another thing I am not doing is going back to Boston for 2014.  After the bombings last year I was sure that’s exactly what I wanted to do but then I changed my mind.  Going to Boston is a big commitment of time and money.  It’s also a big emotional commitment.  When August/September rolled around and it was time to decide I realized that I didn’t want those commitments.

It was a pleasant surprise to find my name in the Boston Marathon Racers' Record Book
Training the way I like to train requires physical and emotional energy.  Something I have learned in the past few months is if a serious personal issue is taking up a lot of emotional energy then it’s going to impact my training.  It will decrease my drive to workout and I will fatigue quicker.  Right now my training and racing ambitions need to be smaller so that I have lots of extra me to pour into someone who needs it.
My training partners for my first 90 minute run.
The high elevation in Sunriver, OR made this run tough.

Two weeks ago I felt ready to commit to training for something.  I decided to jump into training for the Foot Traffic Holiday Half only ten weeks away.  It has been a year since I trained for a half marathon and I am having fun training for this distance again.  The schedule I follow by Hal Higdon starts with long runs of 90 minutes and builds to two hours.  This time I am playing with switching out my short run/strength training days with swimming and spin.  I hope to keep cycling and swimming in the rotation so I can do some more triathlons next summer.  So far my legs are SORE and I feel slow but it will be fun to see what sort of speed I can build before the race in December.  On Saturday I plan to run a 5k cross-country race.  I'm completely inimidated but going to go for it anyway.  Tune up races can be a very helpful tool to gage fitness level and to set pace goals for an upcoming race.

A peaceful morning on the trail
Running has been absolutely amazing here in the Pacific Northwest.  Cool temps, sunshine and changing leaves are heaven for this runner.  Even if I’m heading out the door for a tough workout all I have to do is remind myself of the amazing conditions and I feel giddy.  Last weekend I couldn’t wait to spend my long run on my favorite trail.  The forest was filled with brilliant fall colors offset by a blanket of fog.  A few miles away the sky was clear blue but where I was running the fog clung to the hillside.  Being on that run completely refreshed my soul.  God was revealing himself through his creation.
The sun working to break through towards the end of my run.
How are my Sole Sisters doing?  What are you training for?  Have you ever experienced cutting back your training due to a difficult life season?

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